Marathon runners are a special sort of athlete. Even the most successful are rarely motivated by a desire for fame and wealth, but seem to have an almost mystical desire to transcend their own limitations. This documentary begins by discussing the first, fatal 26-mile-long run in ancient Greece, announcing the defeat at the battle of Marathon; the origin of all marathons. One highlight of the film is its use of early film footage of Olympic marathons from as far back as 1908. The second portion of the documentary highlights the careers of the Ethiopians who won three successive Olympic gold medals in the marathon run, the first in 1960, and focuses particularly on the triumphant career of Abebe Bikila.
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